In our humble abode in Rexburg, Idaho, my roommates and I all have completely different stories to tell when it comes to men. One was almost engaged, another transfixes prey with her blue eyes. And another down the hall has been deceived time and time again. Such frustration has been silently observed by Pink Patrick. He's a pink, feminist little punching bag with a picture of a cartoon man. Arrows point to his face and read "slap him here." Our favorite is the arrow straight to his misters that says "knee him here." Written by women who have abused Pink Patrick in the past are quotes they've heard. "I'm not ready for a commitment", "You're perfect, BUT..."
Reading these, I've come to realize I've hit an all time low in my pathetic LDS young single adult life. I've heard 'em all. And yet, I still made a choice this semester. That lame attempt to chase a boy. One of which didn't like me in the first place. Ignoring that small factor I assumed that I could just play the game and flirt my way in. I was wrong. So wrong. I find that when you go after a boy who does indeed know you're alive and STILL hasn't asked you out- well... he's just not that into you. I've known this principle for a while now, nevertheless I chased. When you're going full speed and you fall on your face, it hurts a whole lot more than had you walked. I will forever walk.
I called my mom (not telling her what an idiot I was) and asked for advice on how to better be "happily single." I really am happy. And single. But man alive do I want some love! She assured me that if I am "anxiously involved with a good cause" everything would be all right. That I just needed to fill my life to the fullest, and if a man wants to jump in on it, then I can decide. What she fails to notice is that I've been doing this for a very long time now and only one relationship ended up in love- and then in awkwardness and hurt. Boo.
Point is, on Tuesday night, my best friend, Anna, and I both felt this unsaid anger and stupidity in both of our recent "man (or, better said, boy) attempts." We felt constricted and defined by the BYU-Idaho stereotypical desperate-to-be-housewives. We're strong women dangit! We really do have goals and aspirations, dreams and things we need to work on. We have school and jobs and hobbies and friends. We're individuals and we don't need to be defined as such by who we're dating. All of this was unspoken. In fact, I'm not really sure if that was even the reason Anna suggested that we have a bra night. We watched Gilmore Girls, our shirts wrinkled in a pile of liberation. But then he rubbed her arm. The main characters boyfriend rubbed her arm so subtly, so sweetly that I wanted to put my shirt back on and make some guy cookies and ask him to just rub my arm real quick. I looked down at myself. My belly is getting smaller from working out, however I dropped my diet when I was beat out by an 18 year old for the guy with hazel eyes. Emotional eating. Further, I had recently tried to avoid the pasty white skin look of Rexburg winters and had ventured to a tanning bed. I burned myself, and now I was peeling. My back itched. I asked Anna if she would peel the dead skin off for me. We looked at each other, both with straight faces. Both in our bra's. Both without a shower. Both without a prospective date for Friday night. Finally, she said in a monotone voice:
"Carrie... we need a plan."
That's when the rage came out. I felt so stupid, so naked, and so unwanted. And what's worse, I was letting a guy that I DON'T EVEN KNOW control those feelings. I think it was because he was the first I've anxiously pursued and came up short that I felt so dumb. I didn’t' know what to do. Pink Patrick laughed to himself in the corner. I pulled him out. I got my own permanent marker. In a small space I wrote: "18 year olds do it better." Anna snatched the marker and scribbled: "I'll be back after Valentine's Day." Then we hit him. Patrick fell backwards in weakness. It felt really good. So we hit him again. And again. And again. We picked him up and threw him across the room. Anna's little body slammed him and my big body kicked him over and over. How dare he be so bold! How dare he be a man! How dare he smile about it! And how dare he not want me.
Laughing and panting, Anna and I collapsed with good ol' Patrick. "Good plan" I told Anna and we laughed again. Our roommate called a few minutes later and asked if we wanted to go see a movie. We put our shirts back on and marched to that theatre new women. Heads high and still reveling in our triumph over "the man."
May they be part of our lives and not all of our lives. Hoo-ah.